Can Gaslighting Be A Good Thing?

ingrid bergman gaslightI wrote about “gaslighting” in today’s newsletter – Invisible Gas Attack.

A reader in the United States asks:

“That term Gaslighting, could it be a type of hypnosis? And could there ever be a time, you feel, it could be for a good rather than just for selfish purpose? De demonization things can sometimes help them lose power so I ask.”

“Gaslighting” as I understand it, is a deliberate attack, meant to confuse, undermine and ultimately disable a person.  I don’t associate it with hypnosis. I associate it with the excellent movie, “Gaslight”. Think Mars in Pisces or Mars in aspect to Neptune.

If this technique was used to disable or disarm a person with evil intent, I suppose that might be a way to use it for good.

Your mentioning “selfishness” clouds this a little for me. Because we do benefit from most things we do, whether we realize it or not.

Anyone else?

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12 thoughts on “Can Gaslighting Be A Good Thing?”

  1. gaslighting is when a person (or persons, or leader, or whatever)tries to convince you (or a nation) that they are totally right and you’re crazy, for their own nefarious purposes. how can that ever be a “good” thing??

  2. Not long ago I was trying to make certain information available to my Facebook network, information that had damning implications about systemic abuse of power. An acquaintance tried to hijack the topic by bringing up past (and ultimately dismissed in court) accusations of sexual misconduct by the person who had found the damning information. The FB acquaintance insisted that no one should believe the damning information (which was about government actions) because of the messenger’s past. I tried to tell her this was irrelevant to the bigger implications in the (completely unrelated) message *I* was trying to spread, and she told me I was gaslighting her. I don’t think I was. There were two issues at hand – I was trying to promote one set of information, and she was focused on another.

  3. Perhaps it could be used for a good purpose, like saving someone from suicide or something similiar, otherwise not.
    The very term gaslighting gives me a bad feeling in my stomach.

  4. And why would someone use gaslighting vs. constructive support and compassion? Gaslighting is noxious in its own right and I don’t think one could use that for “good”. It’s meant to manipulate and destroy. If someone were to let you know they were going to commit suicide, would you gaslight them, perhaps confusing them more and further aggravating the situation or would you call a suicide line to get help for them or ask them to call for their own good? Seems like a simple choice to me. It sounds like the person asking is maybe hiding a motive or trying to feel better about someone either gaslighting them or them gaslighting someone else but not concious of the ramifications.

  5. I guess no such thing as unselfish in this case. I asked this question because I know a guy who went through best as I can tell a Gaslighting situation. This was before the term mainstreamed. In fact he lived in an part meant house in Iowa City called the Gaslight. It’s kind of famous for being haunted. Anyway he is in a much better place and I was reflecting on that gaslight episode, if that had anything to do with his health now. But upon further reflection I feel it’s coming out of that vulnerable state that has made the shift. The working through of how he got there that has made the positive change. Thanks for the reality check feedback…it helped the process

  6. Wow. Yes I think the Mars-Neptune link is quite accurate. I am in the process of leaving a man 20 years older than I am for the final time. We have been together close to 14 years and it’s come to the point where I am picking up on the fact that he thinks I am ‘too old’ for him now. He has Mars-Leo-8th square Mercury-Taurus-5th and also square Neptune-Scorpio-11th. So a T-Square. He also has a Grand fire trine of Moon-Sagittarius-12th, Jupiter-Aries-late 3rd, and also the Mars-Leo-8th. I believe the Lunar eclipse last January went over that Mars. It’s been hell for me and our children. This man is very sick. Very secretive, illegal/immoral and bizarre sexuality. I have finally raised my head above the abuse fog.

    1. Good for you, Steph, and good luck!
      Have you checked Saturn in both of your charts? If you’ve been together for 14 years, Saturn will probably be opposite the place he was in when you got involved.
      And the 20-year age difference might mean that your Saturns square each other.

  7. And no, I can’t think of a situation where gaslighting is good. It’s intriguing that this term is used because to light gas means to put a light on = see in front of your eyes/ see the truth. The man used the light* to search for jewelry and to manipulate the wife so he let her see what he wanted. Truth is corrupted in nefarious hands.

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